Buying review Mercedes-Benz CLK 55 AMG (C208-C209) 1999-2006 Common Issues Engines Inspection

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Hi everyone today a special buying review again, in the late 90’s Mercedes came to the market with the CLK55 AMG. This was before the CLK63 AMG. The 55 seems to be more reliable than the 63AMG, how reliable you might ask ? Well stick around and I tell you all about its technical flaws.

The CLK55 AMG has a hand built 5.4 liter big V8. Power output at first was 347 HP and later on since 2002 367 HP. The v8 was built for sportive driving. 0 to 60 miles can be done in less than 5,5 seconds, topspeed was limited as always to 155 miles an hour. During its time it was a pretty quick car, nowadays of course it is still quick but cars are in a different league nowadays. The 5 speed automatic gearbox was standard.

The CLK55 AMG has a different chassis when compared to the normal CLK. But it is not a M3 rival in any aspect. This is a autobahn burner or GT if you will. In the corners it handles itself good but again it does not have the sharpness that people experience in the BMW M-products. That being said, I think this is the perfect car for longer distances without draining to much energy from you as a driver.

In oktober 2002 the car got a facelift, easily recognizable due to the new headlights being fitted. Facelift models are way better built that cars from before 2002, so this should be your pick. Of Course these cars are younger and so more expensive obviously. In 2006 the CLK55 AMG was replaced by the CLK63 AMG. 

Strong points of CLK55 AMG:

  • Performance
  • Less vulgar then the CLK63
  • Solid ride
  • V8 AMG soundtrack

Attention points:

  • When buying such a car make sure you get all the maintenance information. Preferably done by Mercedes or a Mercedes specialist. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for a big headache

Drive train

  • The torque converter of the automatics will sometimes break, easily explained by the enormous pressure on the gearbox during fast accelerations
  • Every 4 years the 16 spark plugs should be replaced
  • Early production models of the CLK suffer from coolant leakages that caused coolant with gearbox oil to get mixed up. This is obviously not good
  •  Engine mounts for can wear down and this can cause the engine to flip to one side. This will then cause the ECU to reduce engine power. When stationary open the hood of the car to inspect the engine, then hit the accelerator a few times.Its ok if there is a little movement in the engine block, but lot of swing in the block is a sign the engine mounts should be replaced.  
  • Chassis
  • The brake discs on the front are expensive to replace, so check what it the condition of these discs when buying, if they need replacement than you have a good negotiation point in your hands
  • Front and rear tires have a hard life with this much power on the rear wheels and a heavy engine on the front wheels. Tires will last not as long as you are used to probably.


  • The electronic adjustable seats are very comfortable, however occasionally an electric motor of these seats can break.


  • Check the rear fenders and around the lock of the boot for rust.
  • Check if the windows of the doors close properly


  • When you have a ticking sound behind the dashboard during engaging the engine than your aircon is probably due for replacement. The aircon is difficult to reach and expensive to fix.
  • The Mercedes-Benz command infotainment system can occasionally break and is expensive to fix
  • The LCD of the temperature and the clock will sometimes suffer from failing pixels

Thanks for watching the buying review of the Mercedes-Benz CLK 55 AMG. If you find these videos useful subscribe to my channel to stay updated with my latest videos. 

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